The European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP) has begun the Initial Operations Phase of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), following the successful conclusion of negotiations with the European Space Agency.
During the Initial Operations Phase, the responsibility for providing the EGNOS signal and data will be transferred from the development agency (ESA) to the operator (ESSP). During this phase, the ESSP will technically qualify and optimise EGNOS operations.
The EGNOS open service will be declared available in early 2006, once the operations have been proven to be stable and robust. The open service will be free of direct user charges and will support all except safety-of-life applications.
The ESSP will work towards the certification of the EGNOS system by national regulatory authorities (for example, Civil Aviation Authorities) for use in safety-critical applications. This should enable EGNOS Safety-of-Life Services in 2007, following completion of the certification process.
The ESSP has been created by the major European air navigation service providers - AENA (Spain), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAV (Italy), NATS (United Kingdom), NAV (Portugal) and skyguide (Switzerland). The mission of ESSP is to be the operator of the EGNOS system and the provider of EGNOS safety critical services.
EGNOS is the European augmentation service for GPS (Global Positioning System) and GLONASS (Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System). EGNOS transmits wide area differential and ionospheric corrections and associated integrity information to users by means of geostationary satellites, delivering enhanced navigation performance.
EGNOS has been under design, development and progressive deployment since 1997, culminating in its industrial deployment with the success of the ESA milestone Operational Readiness Review (ORR) on 16 June 2005. The transition from the ORR to the Initial Operations Phase is a key step for the progression of European satellite navigation policy and its implementation.
EGNOS is a joint project of the European Space Agency, the European Commission and Eurocontrol - the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation. ESA is in charge of the system development and technical qualification. The system design and development has been carried out by an industrial consortium under the leadership of Alcatel Space.
EGNOS is Europe’s first step in satellite navigation, paving the way for Galileo, the future civil global positioning system.